The Marina Bay Street Circuit in Singapore first appeared on the F1 calendar in 2008. It was the sport’s first ever night race and remains the only one still held completely under the lights at night.
Teams, drivers and personnel remain on European time to help them deal with the odd timings of the Singapore Grand Prix. Due to the length of the circuit – 23 corners, the most of any race this year – and the probability of safety cars, the race normally pushes the two hour limit and is a tough challenge for drivers.
Circuit: Marina Bay Street Circuit
Number of Laps: 61
Circuit Length: 5.065km
Number of Corners: 23
Lap Record: 1:50.041 Daniel Ricciardo (2015)
Previous Singapore Grand Prix winners still on the grid: 3
Most Successful Team: Red Bull (3 wins)
DRS Zones: 2
Pirelli Tyres: Soft, Supersoft and Ultrasoft
As is the case with any street circuit, there are low grip levels and the average speed is the second lowest of any on the calendar – Monaco being the slowest. 45% of the lap is spent at full throttle with approximately 80 gear changes per lap.
Pirelli have brought the soft, supersoft and ultrasoft tyre compounds with the latter making its first appearance since the Austrian Grand Prix earlier in the year. Drivers will have to contend with degradation as well as the humidity and extra challenges a street circuit brings.
The 2015 race proved to be a weakness in Mercedes’ armour with Nico Rosberg finishing fourth and Lewis Hamilton failing to finish. They struggled in qualifying and were unable to match the Ferraris and Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo. It was Sebastian Vettel who won the race for Ferrari with Ricciardo second and Kimi Raikkonen in third.
Last time out it was Rosberg who won, beating team-mate Hamilton who had a disappointing start to the race. Vettel was third ahead of Raikkonen, Ricciardo and Valtteri Bottas. The result means that the gap between the top two in the championship stands at just two points, with Rosberg getting right back in contention with Hamilton.
Mercedes will be hoping to avoid the difficulties they suffered at the 2015 Singapore Grand Prix. Elsewhere in the championship, Red Bull are ahead of Ferrari and they are a team who have won the modern Singapore Grand Prix more than anyone else. Ferrari have won it twice with other previous winning teams McLaren and Renault unlikely to win it this year.
Nico Rosberg has closed the gap at the top of the championship to just two points, following a win at the Italian Grand Prix.
It was his team-mate Lewis Hamilton who started from pole position but was slow away at the start, losing out to the Ferraris, Daniel Ricciardo and Valtteri Bottas. Rosberg took the lead and was untroubled over the course of the race, eventually crossing the line with a 15 second advantage over Hamilton.
Sebastian Vettel finished in third place – where he started – ahead of Kimi Raikkonen, Ricciardo, and Bottas. Max Verstappen finished seventh ahead of Sergio Perez and Felipe Massa, with Nico Hulkenberg rounding out the top ten and points finishers.
Everyone from Romain Grosjean in 11th down was lapped and there were 18 finishers from the 22 starters. Jenson Button enjoyed some battles throughout the race, having been forced wide at the start and dropping to the back of the pack. His fun included a pass on “cheeky monkey” team-mate Fernando Alonso who finished 14th. Esteban Gutierrez nearly stalled at the start but did get going eventually and finished in 15th place. Alonso put on a new set of tyres in the closing stages of the race and set the fastest lap on his way to 16th.
Carlos Sainz, Marcus Erisson, Kevin Magnussen and Esteban Ocon rounded out the finishers. Daniil Kvyat suffered another disappointment with another retirement along with Pascal Wehrlein. Jolyon Palmer and Felipe Nasr both retired following an early accident with Nasr being apportioned the blame and a ten second penalty.
The Italian Grand Prix marked the end of the European season as the action now heads to Singapore.
From one iconic circuit to another, the Formula One circus has travelled from Spa-Francorchamps to Monza for this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix.
The gap at the top of the championship stands at nine points between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg. Hamilton took a number of engine penalties in Spa, resulting in him starting at the back of the grid. He was fortuitous in the timing of a safety car period and red flag and finished in third place, limiting the cut in his championship lead to just 10 points. Rosberg won with Daniel Ricciardo finishing in second at the longest circuit on the calendar.
Circuit: Autodromo di Monza
Number of Laps: 53
Circuit Length: 5.793km
Number of Corners: 11
Lap Record: 1:21.046 Rubens Barrichello (2004)
Previous Italian Grand Prix winners still on the grid: 3
Most Successful Team: Ferrari (19 wins)
DRS Zones: 2
Pirelli Tyres: Medium, Soft and Supersoft
From the longest circuit to the fastest on the calendar, Monza is dubbed the “temple of speed”. While cornering speeds are relatively low, drivers reach speeds of up to 370kph on the pit straight. The famous Parabolica corner leads onto the straight where drivers pick up speed on the run to first chicane. Due to the nature of the circuit – low speed corners and high speed straights – brake wear is high while drivers will change gear approximately 46 times per lap. Grip levels are low meaning teams will run cars at their lowest downforce levels of the year.
Of the current field only Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso have won at Monza. The 2015 running of the race saw Hamilton complete the treble – pole position, race win and fastest lap. He also won the race in 2014. Following all his engine changes in Spa he is well placed to make it a third victory in a row in Italy.
In Belgium Red Bull extended their lead over Ferrari in the constructors championship while Force India moved into fourth ahead of Williams. Further down the order McLaren moved ahead of Toro Rosso into 6th place.
Nico Rosberg saw Lewis Hamilton’s championship lead cut to just nine points by winning the Belgian Grand Prix.
Hamilton started from the back of the grid after a number of engine penalties but was able to take advantage of a safety car and red flag period to secure a podium finish. He finished behind Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo.
The start of the race was chaotic with a number of drivers getting themselves into difficulty. Max Verstappen – who started alongside Rosberg on the front row of the grid- bogged down at the start and as a result lost out to Kimi Raikkonen. Verstappen tried a move up the inside at the first corner but Sebastian Vettel squeezed the pair resulting in contact. Both Ferraris dropped to the back of the pack while Vetstappen picked up damage which Christian Horner suggested cost him 1.5 seconds a lap.
Elsewhere Carlos Sainz picked up an early puncture and as the tyre delaminated it got caught in his rear wing, causing damage and the car to spin. Pascal Wehrlein and Jenson Button were also casualties of the first lap as the Manor driver drove into the back of the McLaren. Marcus Ericsson started from the pit-lane but was forced to retire after just three laps following a gearbox failure.
The safety car was brought out following a huge shunt for Kevin Magnussen on the fifth lap. He lost control of his car at the top of Eau Rouge and the impact was such that his headrest came free from the car. Thankfully Magnussen was able to get out of the car unaided, however with a limp. After a trip to the medical centre and a local hospital Magnussen tweeted that he had a cut on his ankle but expected to be able to race in Monza.
A red flag was eventually brought out after about ten laps behind the safety car to allow marshals to properly fix the damaged barrier. The red flag stoppage benefited Fernando Alonso and Hamilton as they stayed out while most ahead of them pitted. This left Alonso fourth and Hamilton fifth, due to the McLaren driver having got ahead of the Mercedes at the start and leading him for the duration of the race so far.
When the race was restarted Rosberg was once again unchallenged at the front and he was able to drive his own race and win by 14 seconds. Ricciardo was second with Hamilton 27 seconds off his team-mate in third. Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez were fourth and fifth for Force India meaning that they have now moved into fourth in the championship ahead of Williams. Vettel fought back to sixth and finished ahead of Alonso, who showed some good pace to stay ahead of the Williams duo. Raikkonen split the Williams after passing Felipe Massa, having had spirited battles with Verstappen throughout the race.
Verstappen missed out on a points finish after finishing 11th. He was visibly aggrieved by the incident, driving aggressively against Raikkonen. The Finn at one stage came onto team radio to suggest that Verstappen’s “only interest” was running him off the track. One incident saw Raikkonen having to back right off on the Kemmel straight after a last minute change of position for Verstappen. Esteban Gutierrez finished 12th ahead of Romain Grosjean, Daniil Kvyat and Jolyon Palmer. Rookie Esteban Ocon finished 16th on his debut ahead of Felipe Nasr.
There is a quick turnaround with the Italian Grand Prix taking place this weekend.